About This Site
Do you remember the first time you surfed the internet? I can – it was a defining moment for me. I knew immediately I loved it and wanted to be a part of it. So in the autumn of 1998 I decided to build a site devoted to my favourite band. Armed with almost zero knowledge of building a website, I beavered away and on the 1st December that year, my contraption was unleashed onto the world wide web. Little did I know that the hideous mess of a site I launched back then would one day morph into the slightly less hideous mess you now see before your very eyes, or that I'd still be working on the site well over a decade later.
All Through The Years
Since launching in 1998, this website has had several different designs, with each new iteration being slightly less terrible than the last. How many versions of this site do you remember?
December 1998 – May 2000
From a humble acorn the mighty oak grows. Well it's a surprise this website grew at all given its origins as this barely legible mess. Unaware at this point that websites are written in HTML code, this monstrosity was built entirely using Word with the one recurring theme being the use of a really dark background image that obscured the text. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the fonts I used in my design were so obscure no-one else had them on their computers so were only visible by me, with everyone else seeing Times New Roman instead. Want a good laugh? The original site is actually still online...
May 2000 – August 2004
Realising there was nothing worth keeping about the interface of the original site, this version was redesigned from the ground up, not that it made much difference to the overall quality. Now using frames to have a persistent left hand navigation, I followed the general website trend of the time of using a font that was so small you could barely read it. The site used a large, washed out background image that, unbeknownst to me (initially at least), didn't even fit properly across different screen sizes. But hey, the Erasure logo in the top left rotated through a few different versions... although I suspect very few people even noticed.
August 2004 – March 2011
The third iteration of this site had the longest shelf-life of any so far, surviving almost seven years. This wasn't down to any belief that this version was any good, but down to a lack of enthusiasm to improve things as my student days ended and I entered the workplace. Maintaining the tiny text size of its predecessor, and using more shades of blue than is healthy, this site saw the vast expansion of the Discography section, which had so many mistakes I still get people emailing me to this day to point out errors. Each day of the week was assigned its own top banner image, although you'd only have noticed this if you were one of the three regular visitors to this site.
March 2011 – December 2013
Visually this was the first time I tried to tie the interface into specific Erasure artwork, using the I Say I Say I Say era as my inspiration. The beauty of the artwork helped to mask the many flaws of the rest of the layout nicely, with the colours/theme changing with the seasons (which surely did not go unnoticed?!). At 9 months, this version of the site took me the longest to build prompting me to declare I'd never again redesign this site. For the first time, the site was database-driven allowing me to update the site easier (or at least that was the theory) and also saw the launch of the Lyrics and Music Quizzes, as well as a dedicated version for mobile devices. This site also went all social media, allowing me to just post updates to Facebook/Twitter when I was feeling too lazy to post a news item to the site (a practice that remains to this day!).
December 2013 – Present
And so we now reach present day, with the site you are reading today. This version is designed to work across a large number of devices, from smartphones to smart TVs, but probably looks nothing like it's supposed to on various systems somewhere along the line. Like it's predecessor, this site's colours change with the seasons, this time based on the artwork from the various Pop! releases. Not keen on this version? Sadly I suggest you get used to it as given how long it took to build, this will be the last version I design (wait, didn't I say that last time?)...